Another Bicentennial

Yippee! It's another bicentennial, if your constitution can stand it. As everyone within reach of American TV has no doubt noticed, it was 200 years ago that 55 rich white men closeted themselves away in Philadelphia to devise our form of government.

In the course of the year, their work has been commemorated with rallies, parties, fireworks, and a rich array of merchandising scams. On the more serious side, there have been TV capsule reports reliving each day of the Constitutional Convention, documentaries on the evolution of the document, and an endless stream of journalistic head-scratching and throat-clearing about, ahem, "what-it-all-means." Some have even noted that the 200-year-old fight over the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches was refought this summer in the Iran- contra hearings.

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